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Undergraduate Catalog 2012

Judaic Studies


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Judaic Studies Advisory Committee

Jere M. Cohen
Jonathan C. Finkelstein
Judith M. Schneider

Affiliate Faculty

Rebecca L. Boehling
Michele I. Osherow

Interim Director

Jay M. Freyman

Courses in this program are listed under JDST and HEBR .

The minor in Judaic studies addresses the interests of students seeking an intellectual examination of the Jewish experience.

The interdisciplinary program provides a curriculum designed to build understandings of Judaism from historical, literary, social, cultural, religious, and philosophical perspectives. The curriculum allows students to organize their studies within several areas of concentration and to tailor the minor to their academic and career interests.

Judaic studies and Hebrew courses are taught by members of the UMBC faculty and by scholars, researchers, authors, rabbis, and artists from the Greater Baltimore-Washington area.

Career and Academic Paths

Students who minor in Judaic studies have chosen careers in fields such as archaeology, historical research, education, social work, Jewish communal service, intercultural and international relations. The minor can be a useful adjunct to majors in Africana studies, American studies, ancient studies, history, English, modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communications, philosophy, political science, psychology, social work, sociology and anthropology. Although a major is not offered by the program, students may design a major course of study focusing on Judaic studies within the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Academic Advising

Any member of the Judaic Studies Advisory Committee and the program director may serve as an academic advisor to students selecting the minor. Although the structure of the minor curriculum and its requirements are provided below, students interested in the Judaic studies minor are urged to meet with an academic advisor to discuss their plans and to learn of recent and planned developments in the program and special events.

Minor Program

Areas of Concentration The minor program is structured into six areas of concentration: ancient Judaism, Jewish history: modern and contemporary, Holocaust studies, Judaic literature and language, Jewish religion and philosophy, and modern Israel. A listing of the courses within each area of concentration is available on the Judaic studies Web site ( or from the director. For additional information, call 410-455-2115 or e-mail Requirements The minor in Judaic studies requires a minimum of 18 credits. This requirement can be fulfilled in several ways: (1) by taking at least 18 credits from one area of concentration; (2) by splitting the credits, at least 9+9, across two areas of concentration; or (3) by taking the survey of Judaic studies that includes at least one course from each of five areas of concentration plus one more course, which may include JDST 400. Selection of the courses should be made with the guidance of an academic advisor. Note: At least 12 of the 18 credits of the minor must be from HEBR or JDST courses. At least six credits of the minor must be from upper-level courses, and at least nine credits must be from courses taken at UMBC.

Evening Option

One or two courses usually are offered in the evening each semester. However, not all courses are offered on an evening basis.

Student Organizations

The Jewish Student Union and UMBC Hillel are active on the UMBC campus. Neither is formally associated with the Judaic Studies Program.

Special Opportunities

Opportunities for study abroad are available. In some cases, students have spent their freshman year studying in Israel while maintaining enrollment at UMBC. In other cases, students have gone abroad for one or two semesters in their junior year. Study abroad projects also can be arranged for the winter and summer sessions. To ensure the maximum transfer of overseas course credit to UMBC, and to the Judaic Studies Program, prior planning with a Judaic studies academic advisor is urged. JDST 400: Special Study or Project provides students the opportunity to extend and apply their knowledge in a research, internship or supervised study experience. The Greater Baltimore-Washington area offers a variety of settings and opportunities for research and internships, including the Jewish Museum of Maryland, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the B’nai B’rith Kluztnick Museum in Washington, D.C., and various community research, social service and advocacy agencies in Baltimore such as the Baltimore Jewish Council.